Afif said that when the landfill is not properly managed, it creates other issues like the accumulation of gases, which can cause fires. (Seychelles Nation)
(Seychelles News Agency) – Seychelles is seeking the technical assistance of the World Bank through a soft loan to address the problems the island nation is facing with its solid waste management, said Vice President Ahmed Afif on Thursday.
In its meeting on Wednesday, the Cabinet of Ministers approved the proposal for seeking a loan of $5 million from the World Bank.
“Seychelles imports a lot and most imports come in packaging. Today we are producing around 90,000 tonnes of waste every year. This is a lot and it creates many problems. Waste is deposited in bins and although there is a system in place, it is not always efficient,” Afifi told reporters in a press briefing.
He said that those who collect waste deposit it on the landfill that is already full and this is causing certain problems and when the landfill is not properly managed, it creates other issues like the accumulation of gases, which can cause fires.
Afif shared that according to the World Bank consultants, there are certain things Seychelles can do to improve waste management.
“One is the way we manage our landfill and this is a specialised field and we do not have all the knowledge. For example, how to structure it, and how to remove all the spaces in which gas accumulates. There are techniques and practices that are being used around the world and that we can update ourselves with,” he explained.
The Vice President said that one of the components is for “our people in the Ministry of Environment and on the landfill will acquire the knowledge and they will share with those operating the landfill so they can adopt the best techniques.”
Another component is to reduce waste going to the landfill by educating people on how to reduce waste in bins by separating those that can be used as compost and removing PET bottles, glass and metals.
“Since we introduced the redeem fees on PET bottles in 2008, we have reduced by 450 million the plastic bottles going to the landfills and 35 million aluminium cans. There are other products coming in plastic bottles and in cans and we will learn what kind of technique they can help us with,” he added.
Afif said that there is also the idea that “we can use our landfill to produce energy through biogas but we have been told that the volume of our landfill is a bit too small and the investment will be very high this may not be cost-effective. All these questions will be answered if we get the technical assistance and they can help us formulate policies that will help us reduce waste in bins and, therefore, less waste on the landfill.”